Castlegar’s Midget Rep Rebels team participated in the Midget hockey provincials held in Prince George last week. The team got off to a rough start and felt a little unprepared as the event was held in an arena with an Olympic-size ice surface, which the team had never played on before. They also were a bit rusty after a three and a half week break since their last competitive game. However, the team played well together and according to coach Grant Pilla, “They played their hearts out all weekend long.”
Their first game was against Prince George, who absorbed and used the energy of their home town advantage. By the end of the first period, Castlegar was down 3-0. Tanner Costa and Blaine Crockart came back with two goals in the third, leaving the final score 5-2.
“The score was definitely not indicative of the play,” said Pilla. “We had do some adjusting to the Olympic ice surface which we weren’t accustomed to.”
The second game saw the Rebels playing Vernon, again getting down 3-0 by the end of the first period. They battled back to bring the score to 3-2 at the end of the second period. Unfortunately, Vernon was able to capitalize on a couple of penalty calls and scored three goals within 80 seconds, leaving a final score of 6-2.
The Rebels came out strong in their third game against Fort Saint John scoring two goals in the first period and another in the third, winning the game 3-1.
Overall, Pilla was happy with the team of 15 to 17 year-olds and their hard work. He felt the goal tenders worked well together and were solid the whole time. The leaders and the third year players showed excellent leadership and set the tone for the rest of the team.
“I was so impressed, they were great the whole weekend,” said Pilla of the team. “They took their disappointments in stride. The came back that third game and won with class and character. They represented themselves and their organization really well.”